November 1st, 2011

Population Milestone: 7,000,000,000 Souls Now on the Planet

world populationAccording to Time Magazine, scientists projected that the seven billionth human was born on October 31st, yesterday. Think about that: 7,000,000,000 people are now competing on planet earth for food, resources, living space, energy, and medical care. That statistic is doubly amazing when you consider that, when this Editor was born in the late-50s, world population was just three billion. When my mother was born in the 1920s there were just two billion people. So, in her lifetime (she’s in her eighties now), she has witnessed world population increase 350%!

world population

The exponential increase in world population is actually a relatively new phenomenon. In fact, world population did not reach one billion until 1804, and it took 123 years to reach two billion. Now scientists predict that, in just 14 more years, the world population will reach EIGHT billion in the year 2025. That will have significant consequences for everything in our lives — from freeway traffic to retirement funding. Though the world population is getting larger, it is also getting older, particularly in “first-world” countries. In 1950 there were 12 working-age people for every person over 65 years. According to Time Magazine, by 2050, there will only be three (3) working age people for each person over 65. So who will pay for the pensioners? Will this lead to “generational” civil war?

Population growth affects the hunting and shooting community directly, because an expanding population increases the pressure to replace wildlands and open spaces with housing tracts and commercial centers. We have already witnessed this in California, where a number of shooting ranges have been closed to make way for housing developments. Even where existing shooting ranges are allowed to remain, these shooting facilities may face new restrictions on operating hours and potential liabilities for errant shots landing in newly-populated areas.

Here are some interesting Global Statistics:

29 years — Median age of world population.
19% — Percentage of world population now living in China.
$10,290 — Gross income per capita, worldwide average.
50.5% — Percentage of world population living in urban areas.
7.2 — Highest fertility rate among nations (from Central Africa).
73% — Percentage of world population that does NOT use the internet.

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